Opinion: Course Selection is Too Stressful


Gracie Clawson, Staff writer

Course selection begins during Advisory on March 8th. For some, the process of choosing courses for the 2023-2024 school year is an easy task, but for others, it takes a lot of deliberation. I believe much of this struggle comes from society’s idea that high school students are meant to have their lives planned out before they graduate. This pressure can take the fun out of school, as well as create an idea that everyone is in a race to some finish line in the distance. In my opinion, high school should be a time to figure out what you want to do, not just a chance to take courses to put you ahead in college.

 “Personally, I don’t know what I want to do outside of high school,” said sophomore Gabbie Reedy. She feels a need to figure out what to do by taking “random electives” that she knows she likely won’t ever use. 

I think there is some beauty in this dilemma. Taking what may seem like “random electives” can open students up to potential paths that they otherwise wouldn’t have imagined. At the high school, students are lucky to have so many courses offered that allow them to do just that.

Now, while course selection can be a chance to explore possible interests it can also be a source of stress. With so many options available, it can often seem aimless when the courses on your schedule don’t point you toward a specific direction. Some people’s brains are more STEM-oriented, while some prefer to focus more on humanities courses. And for others, it can be a little bit of both. In any case, I think the four years of high school are an amazing opportunity for students to explore both the left and right sides of their brains in order to start to determine what they want to do with their lives. 

“Sometimes I feel like I should take classes so that I have an advantage when I get to college,” freshman Ella Suydam said. “I feel like since our school offers all these extra electives, sometimes pressure of the future plays a part in picking courses.” She feels pressure to determine her future path quickly so that her courses can align with her goals.

However, I believe the purpose of high school should be to determine what, exactly, these goals are. High schooler’s brains are not yet fully developed, and every student has years of experience ahead of them that could change the way they view the world. Rather than determining their path during freshman year, I think there is value in students keeping an open mind and exploring different options as their brains grow.

Now, that’s not to say that a student can’t know what they want to do when they are out of school. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a plan and wanting to stick to it, but it’s also okay to feel a little lost. Students at MT are lucky to have many resources and opportunities available to them, such as CTC and the school counselors, that can help them follow whatever path they may choose.

All in all, I think every high schooler needs to step back and take a deep breath. As teenagers, we tend to overthink and stress about things beyond us rather than focusing on what we can control. No two people are exactly the same, meaning their timeline for life doesn’t have to be either. There is no set clock to follow, no finish line to reach. Rather than focusing so much on the future, don’t be afraid to take a moment to just enjoy the present. After all, isn’t that what life’s all about?

Course Selection Schedule: 

March 8th: Advisory for course selection

March 8th-22nd: Sapphire open to submit selections

April 6th-28th: Master schedule build

May 24th: Courses verified in Advisory

May 26th-July 23rd: DROP/ADD Period

August 8th: Student schedules released on Sapphire